Freeman Medical Focus — Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

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JOPLIN, Mo. — February is heart month. And it comes with a warning – an abdominal aortic aneurysm is something to look out for before it leads to an artery rupture.

Dr. Ray Vetsch, Cardiothoracic Surgeon, said, “Well, it stands for abdominal aortic aneurysm and it is the most common aneurysm that people are getting. An Aneurysm is a ballooning of an artery – in this case the major artery, the aorta and it balloons to a certain point like its going to burst.”

While some cases can be treated successfully after that point, prevention is crucial to minimize any damage.

“You have to imagine that your main artery just fell apart so you’re bleeding internally and you’re not going to be long for this world when this occurs.”

Early detection can mean a 50% higher survival rate compared to emergency surgery to deal with a rupture. And preventive surgery these days is much less invasive than past years.

“Tended to keep people in the hospital for another week or even two weeks. And was a much bigger deal. Now it has been a procedure where you come in, you get the procedure done, you go home the next day.”

An ultrasound screening can test for an abdominal aortic aneurysm. The Freeman Screen Team offers the screening on the first Thursday of most months.

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